August 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

Conceptually, metaphorically, water fascinates me.  The mindless & effortless ability to transform, disperse, converge, overwhelm or quiet itself is no small wonder. The essence–the H & the 2 O’s–create the property of “wetness” that resides in neither hydrogen nor oxygen alone.  Cool beans.

Rumor has it the beta version of “Paper, Rock, Scissors” included Water as a strategic play, but it had to be removed because it was essentially the nuclear option that erased competitive play. Water simply trumped all.

Today, it is not the intrinsic coolness or adaptive abilities I am concerned with; rather it is water’s ability to erode and destroy.

When gravity compels water to “move along,” the rock that may have previously (superficially) contained water in some semi-quiet state begins to crumble and wash away.  Such may be all well and good for the water, but the landscape is forever changed for both.

Rock, once destroyed, is never able to reconstitute itself.  The disaggregated pieces may reconvene & cohabitate peacefully side by side, but always and forever, never the same. Once gravity speaks, water simply moves along.  Rarely does it protest.  Infrequently does it know where it is headed.  It just goes until it stops, however briefly, to rest.

Rock doesn’t have it that easy.  It demands predictability & stability and it is stable only so long as there is no pressure or force to change.  Just like water, it is what it is, and it cannot change its essence.

I suspect water cannot fully grasp how it affects the ecosystem around it.  It is more than pleased when it nourishes and joyful when it invigorates, enriches, & helps others to flourish, but perhaps as a matter of irony, it cannot fully wrap itself around the heartache and collateral damage that comes from its fluidity. Change is what keeps water moving.  Change allows water to express its most notorious properties, strength & character and it doesn’t get why rock begins to shake with the prospect of change. Water may understand fear, but it doesn’t understand the anxiety of change.

This, then, is its greatest limitation: it may reflect, but it cannot absorb.


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